20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
The reason for the anticipation of creation of the glorification was that creation itself was subjected to “futility.”
the creation was subjected [by God] to futility [emphatic—devoid of good results],
God judged not only man but creation itself because of man’s sin. It was God, not Satan, who did this. “Futility” means purposelessness. Creation no longer measures up to the purpose for which it was originally created. The idea of “futility” is that creation has no use but is empty, hollow, and full of nothing. Creation lost its full purpose and became subject to decay and corruption. Diseased plants corrode the crop. Cancer invades the human body.
God originally created heaven and earth in perfection and pronounced it “very good.” When sin entered into the world, it damned that perfection. When Adam sinned, God said, “Cursed is the ground for your sake.” The world now is in a degraded condition. The heavens and the earth are polluted spiritually and otherwise. Creation is compelled to participate in this degradation. Creation fell from its original design. Disorganization prevails in the created order—how miserable the condition caused by man. God put this present creation under reservation for judgment:
2 Pe 3: 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Creation did not voluntarily subject itself to futility like Adam did (Ge 3:14-19). It received a curse because of Adam’s sin. The supreme will of God cursed creation because of man.
but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
God is the one who subjected creation in this matter. Creation had no choice in the matter but was under a decree from God because of the fall of man.
Creation’s hope to be delivered from decay is not unrealistic, because God gave the promise of “hope.” Hope is not a wish biblically but a confidence in future reality. “In hope” means literally upon the basis of hope. The hope of creation carries certainty like the hope of the believer.
One day all the constraints of the curse will be removed.
Creation is inseparably linked to the destiny of man. It will be a glorious day when God removes the curse from this world. We will see the full realization of the purpose and function of creation when that happens. All this will be shared with the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Creation does not currently fulfill the purpose that God gave it. It is devoid of its designed usefulness because it did not meet its original purpose. Man made a mess of creation. It is filled with weary rounds of repetitive purposeless actions.
Eccl 1:8 All things are full of labor; Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing.